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Keywords:

  • Patient education;
  • rheumatoid arthritis;
  • podiatry;
  • foot health

Abstract

Purpose

Foot health interventions such as foot orthoses for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) reduce pain, improve function and improve overall quality of life. Additionally, patient education (PE) is considered essential in achieving good outcomes with interventions such as foot orthoses, footwear and self-care. The aim of this literature review was to identify evidence in relation to the content, use and delivery of PE in the management of RA foot problems.

Methods

An electronic search of the following databases was performed: PubMed, CINAHL, AMED, Medline and the Cochrane Library, between March 2000 and March 2010. In order to be included, studies had to be published in English, involve adults (>18 years) with RA, and assist in answering the research question. No publications regarding PE for the management of foot health-related problems in RA were found. However, other key terms emerged that embraced PE for people with RA and informed a further search. Thirty-two papers met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed with regard to the subject area, content of the paper, methodological issues and their key findings.

Results

The present review provides evidence for the effectiveness of PE for people with RA delivered via a staged approach, with the content and timing of education provision being driven by the needs of the patient.

Conclusions

The effect of PE delivered from a podiatric context needs to be explored, and the nature and requirements of PE for individuals with RA-related foot problems from a patient and practitioner perspective requires investigation. Alternative and innovative ways of providing PE and, potentially, self-management need to be investigated and defined. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.